Manchester United announced that Bastian Schweinsteiger is to move to the Major League Soccer in the United States. The midfielder will join the team Chicago Fire.
The Chicago team’s manager has already spoken about the transfer in a local publication. Velijko Panuovic said he is delighted to have a former World Cup winner play for his club. This will only be Schweinsteiger’s third club of his career after Bayern Munich and Manchester United.
Manchester United have confirmed the transfer intention today via their web site. The player needs to obtain a visa. Also, he will need to pass his medical exams prior to the move being completed. The midfielder had a hard time adapting to the Premier League and received little playing time. Upon his move to United, Schweinsteiger was seen as one of Europe’s greatest defensive midfielders. He has captained Bayern and Germany’s national teams towards continuous success.
“I am sad to leave so many friends at Manchester United but I am grateful to the club for allowing me the chance to take up the challenge at Chicago Fire,” Schweinsteiger commented on Man United’s official website.
“I have enjoyed working with the manager, the players and staff here and wish them all the best in the future. But I have to reserve special thanks to the United fans – whose support has been a very special part of my time in Manchester.”
“I was delighted to be part of the squad that won the FA Cup for them last season and will always remember their energy and their passion. Now is the right time for me to start a new chapter in Chicago and I am looking forward to it.”
Bastian: “I’m sad to leave so many friends at #MUFC but grateful to the club for allowing me to take up the challenge at Chicago Fire.” pic.twitter.com/ZzpuyZuAhK
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 21, 2017
The German joined United in 2015, but became quickly sidelined through injury. The change of managers, which saw Louis van Gaal replaced by Jose Mourinho, further distanced the player from the first team. Mourinho gave him little playing time and even had the player train outside of the first team. The midfielder only played four times under Mourinho’s time at United.
Schweinsteiger joins a host of former international players that made the move to the US league. The MLS has seen the likes of David Beckham, Frank Lampard, Andrea Pirlo or Sebastian Giovinco joining US teams. The league has been especially popular among older players. The players have chosen the MLS over potentially joining mid-range clubs in the European football.
Thanks to all fans, the whole staff and my teammates of @ManUtd! I will never forget my time with the club, but now it’s time for a change! pic.twitter.com/zYn2o5Cjsk
— Basti Schweinsteiger (@BSchweinsteiger) March 21, 2017